Our guest on Episode #46 of the TGG Podcast, in association with Hudl, is Professor David Sumpter, who has worked with top teams including Ajax, Barcelona and England.
=> SHOW NOTES:
02:06: How he got started in computer programming/ mathematics and then football.
05:45: Studying behaviour of birds and fish and how this relates to football. Need to look at at least six matches of data to remove randomness.
08:13: Matthew Benham's work on gambling/ modelling of odds was first alliance of football and data.
09:54: Teams including Manchester City come to visit him in Uppsala following publication of Soccermatics. First formal involvement with a club is with Swedish side Hammarby, spending 50% of his working time there.
21:00: How he packages up the approach to football developed at Hammarby to use at other clubs. Can apply to every area of the club, including fan experience, performance and scouting.
23:05: Worked on research projects with Barcelona, Ajax and England. With Ajax he's looking at the rules of motion of players. With the Football Association (England) he is working with a research student and they are looking at scanning behaviour and expected threat models.
29:45: Ajax are doing things 'from a more fundamental level, trying to understand the game from its basics', which is rare.
36:50: Liverpool are 'definitely leading the way in analytics', but doing it in a very different way to Ajax, focusing mainly on recruitment.
39:35: Importance of quantifying your style of play and how this 'identity' informs everything.
44:18: 'The stuff we did at Hammarby is still a lot more advanced than what's being done at some of the big clubs. There is still so much they can use this tracking data for.'
50:45: Analytics will never replace people or expertise. 'The inputs of experts are so important.'
56:45: Use of streamline, a 'second revolution' after Python.
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